Worker Death Again Highlights Dangers of Falls

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a reminder to construction workers concerning the dangers of falls on the job site. Whether working on a residential building or skyscraper, falls can lead to very serious injuries for workers. A recent construction accident also stresses the dangers of falls for Pennsylvania construction workers while working on roadways and bridges.

The accident happened on a major construction project on an interstate highway located in another state. Work was being performed on an overpass that went over some railroad tracks. The overpass was some 60 feet above the tracks. The worker fell into a gap between the lanes of traffic, and fell to his death while working at night.

Officials are still investigating the accident to learn what may have contributed to the worker falling. Safety procedures that were in use at the job site will also be examined to determine if all proper precautions were being followed.

Quite often, these massive projects will be under intense deadlines. Workers might feel pressured to complete these tasks as soon as possible, meaning that safety takes a backseat to a quick completion of the project.

OSHA recommends that workers who will be performing tasks where falls may result wear harnesses, or construct guardrails around fall-prone locations. If working at night, employers need to be sure that adequate lighting is present in order to allow for proper visibility.

Workers should take some time to identify potentially hazardous areas at their job site. Always be sure to follow safety procedures, as an accident can happen at any time. By being prepared, it might help to lessen some of the injuries that might occur.

Source: “Massachusetts State Police probing death of I-91 construction worker who fell from highway overpass” Conor Berry, August 30, 2012.